Colombians living outside their homeland are seeking to increase the number of seats assigned to represent them in Colombian Congress from one to two.
Colombian citizen, New York resident, and aspiring congressional candidate Jaime Buenahora believes that Colombian immigrants are under-represented.
“There more than 4.5 million Colombians living outside Colombia… [the under-representation] is clear when you compare this immigrant population with departments like Vichada, which has a population of no more than 150,000 inhabitants and two representatives in Congress,” Buenahora told El Informador.
Mauricio Trujillo, Polo Democratico’s “international” candidate, who spends half the year in France, agrees that Colombian expats need greater representation.
“They send home close to $5 billion each year, which constitutes the second biggest source of foreign capital after petrol sales,” Trujillo said.
Current “international” representative Manuel Jose Vives said his seat is important because it doesn’t represent a particular group or region, but rather Colombians in general.
There are 29 candidates from ten political parties running for the international seat in this year’s elections.